By Sara Dahmen
The snow has officially begun to whisper in Oz. As I write this; it’s whirligig-dancing outside my window, but let’s be real – it’ll probably melt in time for Christmas Eve. It’s the time of year when the “dragon” or the “Green Man” is deep underground; when the warmth of summer is ever further away, and when we think of knits and hot food, spicy mulled wine, and building a fire inside instead of outside. My children have asked when the next fire feast is, and Winter Solstice is the perfect time for it! So, light a fire and loads of candles and make a wreath and honor grandparents; it’s the start of a new season and marks the end of the dark. Essentially, it’s the celebration of the light to return! (See how it’s all linked? Beautiful, ain’t it?)
BASIL SHRIMP PASTA
We consider shrimp a treat, but it is the holidays, so it’s a perfect time to have one! This meal is super simple. I always start the pasta water first, then boil the pasta and make the shrimp at the same time, so it’s all hot and ready together.
You can always change this up by using different pastas!
**This recipe is for 2 people.
2lbs raw shrimp, deveined and detailed
1lb pasta noodles
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ yellow onion, finally chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
¼ cup dried basil
1/3 cup almond milk, regular milk, cashew milk or whipping cream (I mean, it’s mainly all about how decadent you want to be!)
Bring a pot of water to boil, sprinkle in a pinch of salt and add the pasta, stirring so it doesn’t stick and following your pasta packaging instructions for length of time to boil the pasta.
Meanwhile, add the garlic and onion to a pot and add in ¼ cup of water. Heat the onion and garlic on low until almost translucent, then add in the salt, pepper, and the shrimp. Cook the shrimp (adding a tablespoon of water as needed) until pink. Add in the basil and whatever dairy/milk you chose. Mix and heat.
Drain the pasta noodles and add them to the shrimp pot. Fold together gently until the noodles are coated. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve very warm direct from the pot.
SWEET IMMUNITY TEA
Since the holidays mark a time when we all hang out indoors with extended family and share germs and hugs and wildcat hors d’oeuvres, it helps to bolster the immune system whenever possible. This tea is best taken daily to get the full effects. All of the herbs are easy to find and can be used without restrictions on how often you take them.
1 tsp elderberries
1 tsp elderflowers
1 tsp rosehips (crushed)
1 tsp echinacea flowers and leaves
1 tsp nettle leaves
½ tsp peppermint
Mix all the ingredients together and place ½ of the mixture (save the other half for another cup of tea later!) in a tea sieve. Boil water. Pour the water over the sieve or in the cup and leave the tea to steep for 7 minutes. Remove the tea, let it cool to your preference and drink!
Why these herbs?
Elderberries and flowers for anti-viral protection – the berries especially enhance immunity
Echinacea as a potent counter to viral and bacterial infections – a high immunity plant that is anti-microbial and ideal for preventing illness
Rosehips are wonderful for fighting viral infections in general
Nettle is an overall health tonic, excellent for everyday use
Peppermint for taste, as well as for digestion – so many illnesses stem from gut issues
[ I’ll make greenwitches out of all of you yet! ;) ]
About the Author
Sara Dahmen is a coppersmith, award-winning author and novelist, and entrepreneur. Her expertise is of vintage and modern cookware; she manufactures pure metal kitchenware in her Port Washington, Wisconsin garage for her company, House Copper & Cookware. All of her current designs are based on American traditions and wares and are sourced in the USA. When unable to recreate traditional elements, she uses only small family owned and operated makers or Armed Forces veterans to help with the production of her cookware pieces. Her work also includes refurbishing and restoring old and damaged copper using vintage tools. Learn more about Sara at: https://www.saradahmen.com/ Order Sara's book! Full color, hard-cover COPPER IRON AND CLAY (Morrow/HarperCollins)